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Sunday shooting at pond may be suicide

By Times Staff Writer
Published June 24, 2003

LARGO - Police say a man found shot to death near a pond early Sunday morning probably killed himself, though they may drain the pond to be sure. The reason: The gun has not been found. Police said Nikolaus Kemp, 24, of Largo, apparently shot himself. A friend who was with Kemp at the time told police he panicked and threw the gun into the pond. Pinellas sheriff's divers searched the pond Sunday without success. Police may drain the pond or lower the water level to search again, police Detective Joe Coyle said Monday. Coyle said Kemp's death has all the signs of a suicide. A bus driver found Kemp's body shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday. A friend, Richard Bonet, 17, of Largo, told police Kemp picked him up at his residence about 3 a.m. Sunday. Kemp had a gun in his waistband and suggested his life might soon end, police said. He and Bonet drove to a pond near Lake Avenue and Waterview Drive, where Kemp wrote a note giving his car to Bonet. Bonet told police that Kemp suddenly raised the gun to his head and fired. Bonet said he panicked, threw the gun into the water and fled in Kemp's blue Chevy Celebrity. Police later matched the signatures on the note and Kemp's driver's license.

[Last modified June 24, 2003, 08:14:25]

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